Retaining Walls, what are they?
Retaining walls are structures that are meant to hold earth at or close to the vertical position. It provides lateral support to vertical slopes of soil. It keeps soil upright to avoid possible collapse or tipping over, otherwise known as “overturn”.
Materials used to create retaining walls vary from wood sheets, steel and plastic ones, concrete sheets, or even soil-cement piles. And because of this, retaining walls come in different forms. These walls are included in landscaping as complete walls and are normally created with solid materials.
These walls are multi-functional!
Homeowners use these walls to increase the amount of usable land because they may be a simple fix to a steep slope or a slumping hillside, the same goes for civil engineers who use it to create usable roadways.
Retaining walls work by adding space, holding excess soil that may cause any obstructions to flat surface structures. In addition to that, they can also provide environmental benefits such as reducing soil erosion and protecting areas from being saturated.
These walls, as mentioned, are not limited to its protective use, they may also be a simple addition to an area's landscaping.
They aren't invincible though...
Retaining walls are constantly fighting gravity. Many variables must be considered in carefully assessing the soil in the area. Two examples are climate and terrain.
Climate is the long-term patterns of atmospheric phenomena that may affect the wall’s quality overtime, and terrain as the composition, patterns, hazard risks, horizontal dimensions and vertical dimensions of the area itself.
Another example would be the slope because
determining the slope’s measurements or dimensions would determining what type of wall may be built, how sturdy and how tall it should be. When built properly, could even support and keep an entire landscape from sliding off.
However, building retaining walls aren’t just a weekend job, some retaining walls would be covered by government building codes and regulations; which for some, should be presented to their respective building and safety offices before they start building one.
Concrete Retaining Walls…
Concrete retaining walls, specifically, are one of the most challenging retaining walls to work with due to its issues with extreme weather conditions. Working with concrete retaining walls need skilled concrete contractors to avoid cracks, awkward waves, and bulges but even so, they are still really extremely risky to work with! Make sure you contact us today to ensure your walls are built correctly the first time.
Also, transferring the wall is not an option, they have to be broken and built again. Thankfully, materials are affordable!
Concrete retaining walls are extremely strong which makes it a good type of retaining wall for holding up tons of earth and water. These types of walls are sturdy enough to last a lifetime, they’re also resistant to fire, water, rotting, and rust.
These types of walls are generally easier to make as compared to their masonry counterparts. They’re also really pretty easy to mold so you may opt to include a variety of geometric designs to the wall.
Constructing These Walls
Choose the proper materials. Materials could be anything, really. The best materials will always depend on the wall’s use.
Anything works for retaining walls that simply add to the overall design but not everything would for heavy and long-term uses, in which concrete really is the best option.
Here is an overview on how to construct a concrete retaining wall:
Retaining Wall Look
Designing a concrete retaining wall is like designing any other wall! The possibilities are endless. Here are a few things you can add: